There is no mistaking the signs of a hot flash. Starting with your ears and neck, a hot, intense flush breaks out over your face and upper body. You may feel nauseated along with the hot flash and may also experience feelings of anxiety, dizziness, and weakness. You are left soaked with sweat and weakened.
Hot flashes are a sign of perimenopause and menopause. Over 90 percent of women suffer and have trouble controlling them. Typically, they last from two to four minutes and occur every three to five hours. Hot flashes are one of the first menopausal symptoms to appear and one of the last to leave.
If you or someone you love is experiencing menopausal hot flashes, here are ten treatments and tips:
- Hormone Replacement Therapy, also known as HRT, has been prescribed by doctors for years. HRT replaces the hormone estrogen that women lose during perimenopause and menopause. However, there are dangers to taking replacement estrogen. Before participating in HRT, you should speak with your doctor and have a firm understanding of both the risks and benefits of this treatment.
- Effexor is also a drug available by prescription. An antidepressant, this drug is usually prescribed for women battling breast cancer. Because it relieves hot flashes in women undergoing treatment for breast cancer, researchers believe it is an option for women who do not wish to under-go traditional HRT.
- Gabetin, a prescription drug for the treatment of migraines, has been shown to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes in some groups of menopausal and perimenopausal women.
- Prometrium, a prescription form of the hormone progesterone, provides relief from both hot flashes and the side effects that accompany them. For those who do not wish to start a progesterone prescription regimen, an over-the-counter cream is also available.
- Avoid diet triggers. Hot and spicy foods, in addition to caffeine and alcohol, have been known to trigger hot flashes.
- Dress cool and comfortable. Hot weather has been shown to exacerbate the occurrence of hot flashes. Try to choose cotton fabrics that are loose and flow away from the body.
- 30 minutes of exercise a day has been proven effective in reducing the number and the severity of hot flashes. It is recommended that women avoid exercising in the three hours before going to bed to avoid an episode of night sweats. Follow our simple tips on weight loss for women.
- Black cohosh is a popular herbal remedy. Many women swear by it, although there is little scientific evidence to prove it works. It claims to work well against both the hot flashes and night sweats experienced by menopausal and perimenopausal women. There are also those women who claim that black cohosh works well in preventing other menopausal symptoms such as anxiety and headaches. Although it cannot be proven whether or not black cohosh is effective, enough reports by menopausal women make it worth a try. It has been termed as being “a safe, herbal treatment” by the North American Menopause Society.
- Vitamin E may reduce hot flash episodes and their frequency according to the “Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation.”
- Soy is one of the most popular treatments for the occurrence and severity of hot flashes. Japanese and Chinese women, known for consuming four times the amount of soy as American women, have a reduced number of hot flashes. Although soy supplements work, there seems to be a better result when foods high in soy are eaten. Types of soy foods that have been shown to reduce hot flashes include edamame, soy milk, tofu, miso, and soy vegetable protein.
With that in mind click here for an excellent book on menopause. The Menopause Bible: The Complete Practical Guide to Managing Your MenopauseYou’ll be glad you did.